Chrétien receives honour

Jean Chrétien insists he’s still just the little guy from Shawinigan despite receiving one of the world’s most prestigious and exclusive honours.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II presents the Order of Merit to former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien

Jean Chrétien insists he’s still just the little guy from Shawinigan despite receiving one of the world’s most prestigious and exclusive honours.

The former prime minister, who once forced news mogul Conrad Black to choose between a British lordship and his Canadian citizenship, was invested Tuesday with the Order of Merit by the Queen.

Chrétien is only the fourth Canadian — joining neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield and former prime ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King and Lester Pearson — to receive the award, a “gift from the sovereign.”

It places him with the likes of Florence Nightingale, the late Mother Teresa and former South African president Nelson Mandela, along with playwright Tom Stoppard and broadcaster David Attenborough.

The award is given to those who show “exceptional distinction” in the arts, learning, sciences and public service. Only 24 living members hold the order at any given time.

In a telephone interview shortly after the private investiture at Buckingham Palace, Chrétien acknowledged he never dreamed he’d be chosen to join such exalted company.

“Yes, it’s very amazing. What can I say? It’s amazing,” he said.

Still, Chrétien noted that he’s not entitled to any privileges or title as a result of the honour. Nor does he want any.

“It is an honour. You know, I have the Order of Canada (too). That doesn’t make me a different type of Canadian than you. I just have exactly the same rank in society and if I go in the hospital, you know me, if I’m No. 10, I wait to be the tenth to come through the gate.”

Just Posted

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Cannabis smoke raises health concerns

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month